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NFL Conference Championship Handicapping Tips

NFL Conference Championships- Match-Up Analysis

The NFL’s final two teams in each conference square off against one another this Sunday with a trip to Super Bowl XLIV on the line. There are solid reasons why each team has a chance to win, but it is often the intangibles that determine the actual outcome.


Below are a few inside facts and tips for each game that will help when it comes to making your picks for Sunday.

New York Jets@ Indianapolis Colts
Sunday, January 24th 3:00 P.M.

By now everyone should know that New York ended the regular season with the number one ranked rushing offense and the number one ranked overall defense in the league. In the postseason they are ranked 3rd in rushing yards per game and 6th in total defense. New York DE Shaun Ellis broke his left hand in the game against San Diego, but expects to be ready to go this week. In their week 16 win over Indianapolis, RB’s Thomas Jones and Shonn Greene combined for 200 rushing yards. The Jets biggest win over the Colts was led by QB Joe Namath in Super Bowl III.

With a win, this would be their second trip to the Super Bowl in four years. In their first appearance, they beat the Bears 29-17 in the same location as this year’s game; Miami. The Colt’s finished the regular season ranked #2 in passing offense and ranked #32 in rushing offense. In their win over the Ravens they ran for a total of 42 yards on 25 attempts, an average of 1.7 yards per carry. In the week 16 game against the Jets, Peyton Manning threw for close to 200 yards, but only played a little more than a half.

Minnesota Vikings@ New Orleans Saints
Sunday, January 24th 6:30 P.M.

Minnesota is the second highest scoring team in the league, averaging 29.4 points per game. Despite having a knee sprain, DE Ray Edwards is expected to start on Sunday. Edwards was credited with three of the six sacks in last week’s game. The last time the Vikings were in the conference title game was in 2000 when they lost 41-0 to the Giants. Brett Favre’s numbers on the year are 363 completions on 531 attempts for 4,202 yards and 33 TD’s.

New Orleans is the highest scoring team in the league, averaging 31.9 points per game. S Darren Sharper, a former teammate of Favre had nine interceptions this season and returned three for TD’s. The last time the Saints were in the conference title game was in 2006 when they lost 39-14 to the Bears. Drew Brees’s numbers on the year are 363 completions on 514 attempts for 4,388 yards and 34 TD’s.

In both of these games, each of the teams match up extremely well with one another as all four have the ability to counter act their opponent’s strengths and exploit their weaknesses’.

These two championship games will both come down to who can execute their game plan the best as there is little margin for error.

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About Dave Schwab

David Schwab is a regular contributor to the Cappers Picks Blog. While not cheering for his beloved Philadelphia Eagles David can be found working on his blog at www.eaglesinc.com. David wants to hear from you so please comment below.